Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On This Day 06 January

Banned in Boston
1975 06 January On This Day Led Zeppelin caused a riot and they weren't even there
"Banned in Boston" is a phrase used to describe works of art (literature, music, movies or plays) that were prohibited from distribution or exhibition in Boston because of , "objectionable content", including but not limited to works with sexual content or foul language.  Remember, Boston was founded by Puritans, and artwork was banned in Boston as early as 1651.

On this day in Boston, events led to the band's being banned in Boston for five years, but it was Led Zeppelin shows rather than the music that was banned. 

It all started when Led Zeppelin was booked to play at Boston Garden on 04 February 1975.  The announcement of the concert, the “first monster rock show of the new year”, was made on December 31, 2014, and stated that tickets would go on sale the following Tuesday (07 January, 1975), with the show expected to be sold out immediately.

On the night of 06 January, Boston police (including a few from Boston's Tactical Patrol Force) were sent to Boston Garden to deal with a reported 3000 fans who had arrived in advance for the box office to open at 10 a.m. the next day and who were trashing the place.  Because of the cold, the doors had been opened to allow freezing fans to wait inside.  Somehow that act of mercy resulted in the fans running amok, vandalizing the building to the tune of about $30,000.  Police confiscated knives and martial arts implements from some of the rioters. 

In spite of the fact that Led Zeppelin had been booked for the show the concert had not actually been licensed by the Boston Licensing Board. Mayor Kevin White, reportedly a Stones fan, refused the permit for Led Zeppelin's show and they were banned in Boston for five years. 

1972 busted in Rhode Island but saved by Boston's mayor
Mayor White had personally got Keith Richards and Mick Jagger out of assault busts in Rhode Island in 1972 because fans who were waiting at Boston Garden would riot if the band didn't show up. Yet in June 1975 The Stones were booked for the Garden and they got their permit just fine. Talk about politics.

2012 January Classic Rock Magazine (Ross Halfin cover photo)

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